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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | Dacapo SACD

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
The symphonies of Rued Langgaard are not often performed outside his native Denmark, probably because he was tagged as a late Romantic in an era of obligatory modernism. It's true that he wrote tonal music that took a great deal from Richard Strauss in his handling of the orchestra, and from Robert Schumann in its large fields of orchestral arpeggios. It takes an orchestra of the Vienna Philharmonic's caliber to bring these off, so this release, headed by veteran Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo, is welcome. The late Romantic rubric somehow does not give an idea of what Langgaard's music is like: it has a strongly Scandinavian pictorial and programmatic orientation, influenced by other Scandinavian composers but unique in structure and expressive qualities. Consider and sample the middle movement of the Symphony No. 2 ("Vaarbrud," meaning "Awakening of Spring"), which is based on a Danish hymn but is not a set of variations on it, nor a fantasy on it, but rather, you might say, a moderate stretching-out. (Its partial resemblance to Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott heightens the effect.) Langgaard revised his symphonies later in life, shortening several of them; you hear the original versions here, which may be less desirable. But the storm music in the Symphony No. 6 ("Himmelrivende") is of an almost mystical intensity, free-from conventional artifice. Two simpler pieces ring down the curtain: a lyrical movement from a later Langgaard symphony, which is a reasonable choice, and the Tango Jalousie of Jacob Gade, which, although a superb little work, seems to come out of nowhere here. An offbeat, highly worthwhile choice. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 15, 2018 | Dacapo SACD

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released December 22, 2017 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released November 3, 2017 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released October 20, 2017 | Dacapo SACD

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Baroque music has never quite been the wheelhouse of Theatre of Voices and their director, Paul Hillier, but this release has found both critical and commercial success. It's easy to see why. The music is completely fresh, coming from a personal collection in Sweden, and much of it is strong enough to make you wonder where it's been all your life. The composers involved are from the generations before Bach, and most of them influenced him. Primary among these is Dietrich Buxtehude, who lies at the center of the program and who had mixed German and Scandinavian background. Sample the fascinating elaboration on the title tune, which is unlike Bach or anyone else. Organ pieces are not just interludes but feel part of the groups of Christmas pieces on the program, which cover and evoke the seasonal themes of The Annunciation and Advent; The Shepherds; The Nativity; and New Year, Epiphany & Annunciation. The selection covers some little-heard composers including Johann Christoph Bach (1642­-1703), whose double-chorus cantata Merk auf, mein Herz is especially tuneful. Throw in absolutely top-notch sound from Dacapo's engineers, working in a wooden Copenhagen church that's both appropriate and intimate, and you have a delightful holiday release for 2017 and beyond. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 5, 2017 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released January 20, 2017 | Dacapo SACD

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonies - Released June 10, 2016 | Dacapo SACD

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The music of Danish composer Per Nørgård contains multitudes, one might say. It is perhaps best experienced through his symphonies, which tend to contain and juxtapose many of his ideas. The packaging of this Dacapo recording of two of Nørgård's symphonies puts it well with the words that "[h]is music stems from an insatiable urge to explore the phenomena of the world and the possibilities of music." Nørgård was mentored in the 1950s by the elderly Sibelius, and in the Symphony No. 6 ("At the End of the Day") suggests a Sibelius for modern times, influenced by the great Finn's spiritual encounter with the Scandinavian natural world and by the vast, subtle detail of his orchestral canvases, yet with a kind of obsessive intensity. Sample the opening movement of the first track, which evokes and then blasts through classical formal ideas. The Symphony No. 2 in One Movement marked one of the first appearances of an "infinity principle" of motivic derivation that appears in many of Nørgård's works. A full measure of credit goes to the Oslo Philharmonic under John Storgårds; the orchestra conveys the excitement of playing well at the limit of its abilities, and Storgårds catches many small details. Part of a series devoted to Nørgård's symphonies, this release is perhaps especially recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 10, 2016 | Dacapo SACD

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Chamber Music - Released April 1, 2016 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released January 1, 2016 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released October 2, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released October 2, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released June 2, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Classical - Released June 2, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Chamber Music - Released April 7, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Symphonies - Released February 3, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Concluding their exceptional audiophile series of the symphonies of Carl Nielsen on DaCapo, Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic present the Symphony No. 5 and the Symphony No. 6, "Sinfonia Semplice," the two most challenging works in the cycle. Nielsen was not comfortable with the changes modernism brought to classical concert music, and his misgivings are conveyed in the increasingly abrasive counterpoint and violent interruptions he provided as commentary in both works. While the Fifth Symphony retains traditional aspects of symphonic structure, and many passages are quite ravishing, it is most notable for the explosive ad libitum snare drum solo which threatens to derail the first part, and the dissonant fugues that dominate the second part. Even more unsettling is the Sixth Symphony, which is far from a simple symphony. From the tonally unstable and volatile first movement, through the sarcastic Humoresque and the enigmatic Proposta seria, to the forced comedy of the Theme and Variations, Gilbert and the NYP convey the bitterness and frustration Nielsen felt toward the end of his career, and the performance is quite disconcerting, as it should be. The orchestra's playing is vivid to the the point of being startling, and it holds nothing back in the most climactic moments. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 3, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Chamber Music - Released November 4, 2014 | Dacapo SACD

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik